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Suunto announces decommission plans for Movescount platform, impacting some watches

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Two days ago Suunto announced plans to retire their online training platform, Movescount, sometime around Summer 2020 (~18 months from now). Instead, users will use the newer Suunto online platform (previously called Sports Tracker – no relation to SportTracks). That’s the platform that Suunto has been pushing since the launch of the Suunto 3 watch a year ago, and then this past summer with the Suunto 9 series.

As one might expect, this has bubbled all sorts of questions to the surface on a variety of topics. Be it from the lack of features in the newer Suunto platform, to the lack of support for older watches (especially the Ambit 1/2 series) – there’s plenty of cause for needed clarity.  Suunto attempted to cover that in a lengthy page of FAQ’s, though given the number of questions I’ve seen over the last 48 hours, it’s apparent that page might not be as clear as desired.  So, I’m going to take a stab at covering some of the key points (after double-checking a few things with Suunto).

I’d note that the shift towards the newer Suunto platform is hardly a surprise. Suunto has been very clear since at least last May that no further feature updates would come to Movescount. From a Suunto internal standpoint they long ago sat down at a Finnish table and had the mother of all conversations about which platform would remain (Sports Tracker or Movescount), and ultimately decided Sports Tracker was the chosen child. Beating that horse is mostly pointless at this juncture.

Instead, what’s more important is closing that gap between the significant number of features on Movescount that are missing on Suunto online.  Especially power features, the same features that Suunto has specifically noted they’re shifting the majority of their focus to since the Suunto 9 series.

What’s changing:

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In short, in summer 2020, Suunto will shut down the Movescount platform. Between now and then, the two platforms will operate concurrently (as they have been for a long time already). You can basically continue life as normal on either platform if you want till the very end. Above is the new Suunto platform.

Starting later this spring Suunto will start allowing you to transfer data from Movescount to the new Suunto branded platform. That’ll transfer your workouts and exercise data…but it won’t transfer much of anything else.

In fact, Suunto was kind enough in their post to include a long list of things that will be left for dead:

  • Personal information including body metrics
  • Routes
  • POIs
  • Suunto Movies
  • Groups you belong to
  • Events that you are attending
  • Training programs
  • Suunto Apps for your watch created by the Movescount community
  • Device settings

Some of these frankly aren’t super big deals. Most people have likely saved their Suunto movies for example, and events aren’t likely a big draw either.  However, some items are bigger tickets. The lack of routes and POI’s is especially bizarre.

Of course, it’s bizarre for a less obvious reason. See, Suunto’s new platform doesn’t support POI’s (points of interest), which are often used on/within routes (how you plan to go somewhere). For a company that has built their entire being upon the hiker and deep-mountain outdoors person – lack of transfer of routes and POI’s are a weird omission.

To be clear: Yes, the new platform supports routes. And yes, you can manually export them out yourself and then manually import them back in again. But Suunto won’t do that for you. And you still won’t have POI’s when all is said and done.

The other less obvious semi-big ticket item here is that this officially kills off Suunto’s journey with their app platform. Once over on the new Suunto platform, the older series Ambit/Traverse units that could access the Suunto app store will no longer be able to do so. Suunto hints at this here and there, but it’s as clear cut as they could. Apps are dead. Simple as that. Though, I suppose most of us saw that coming. When Suunto released their Spartan series a few summers back, it lacked apps – so this isn’t an unexpected turn of events.

Beyond that, I still find the new platform far too dumbed down for my liking. I continue to use the Movescount side – and will likely continue to do so for quite some time. But I’ll give Suunto the benefit of the doubt that between now and next summer they’ll get things up to snuff.

The Big Gap:

Of course, the big gap here is what happens to the Ambit 1 & Ambit 2 series*. These units predated Suunto’s wireless sync days, so they don’t have Bluetooth Smart sync (only ANT+ sensor support). Thus, they can’t talk to phones and instead upload via cable to a Mac/PC. That’s been working well enough for quite some time of course.

As it stands today, there’s no plan for those watches.

Which apparently doesn’t mean there won’t be a plan, but there just isn’t a plan today.

I went round and round with Suunto on this via e-mail, and the long and the short of it is that they’re awaiting user feedback and then will determine a specific course of action from there.  Which is a simple way of saying they’re waiting to see how many people scream (and how loud they scream).

The simple resolution here would be to just update the Suunto desktop sync app to support the Ambit 1/2. But undoubtedly that likely brings with it some legacy code (or work) they’re trying to avoid.  Note that the Suunto Ambit 2 was introduced in March 2013, however, the Suunto Ambit 2R was introduced in January 2014 – about 5 years ago. Of course, Suunto continued to sell these for a number of years later.

Folks may remember about a year or so ago Polar tried to pull a similar thing when they announced that older watches were being cutoff for uploads. Of course, that went over like a lead balloon – especially since in Polar’s case many older watches are used across academia/research/etc as well. Polar eventually backtracked on those plans and life went on.

Again, Suunto isn’t saying they’re not going to support these watch’s ability to function, but they aren’t saying they will either. They’re just saying ‘Sit tight, we’ll see.’

*Technically this includes more than just the Ambit1/2 units. It also includes the M-series, T-series, and Quest watches. Though, I’ve never reviewed those other ones here, and I suspect there’s not many of you that really care too much about those.

Going forward:

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With the recent acquisition of Amer Sports by a large outside investment firm, it remains to be seen how that’ll impact the Suunto subsidiary. Ideally, said investment firm would pour in endless piles of money.  In which case my suggestion is simple: Developers, developers, developers.

Suunto doesn’t have a hardware problem – they have a lack of software problem. A problem that this platform change will ultimately increase.  Of course, the company would probably argue that by eliminating one platform they can redirect staff that has been spending time maintaining Movescount over to Suunto online. And that’s true to a degree, but realistically not a meaningful degree. For the most part, developers focused on new features wouldn’t have been working on Movescount in any large numbers – so the bump there is minimal.  Hopefully with new investment money though, they’ll get an extra developer or sixty.

Of course, the biggest issue here is how to handle the Ambit 1/2 units.  One of the most overlooked aspects of the Garmin device world is the non-reliance for virtually all of their devices on a web-based service to access your recorded workouts. You can simply plug in your watch to your computer and offload it via USB like any other file or with local desktop software that exports to your computer (even a Garmin Forerunner 305 from 13 years ago!) . Same goes for Wahoo, Sigma, and others. But that’s not true for Polar or Suunto (or Apple). This means that in cases like this where companies want to make a shift in technology, they’re going to hard-break people.

(Side note: While there are sometimes ‘creative’ 3rd party utilities to get around some of these limitations, I don’t see them as super realistic for 99% of the people out there.)

Hard-breaking folks is a really tough nut to crack, especially for a watch that’s designed at being this long-lasting functional bit of gear. My simple opinion is that even if you break online/app functionality, one should *always* be able to record a workout and then download that data in some way/shape/form (until that watch dies of other causes). Though, I’m certainly interested in other thoughts on the matter.

Still, I’m optimistic Suunto will come up with a plan to solve things over the next few months. By going with a decommissioning date some 18 months into the future, they’ve given themselves plenty of time to come up with a plan and execute on it. Even if we don’t necessarily like it. Hopefully, that end plan will at least maintain core functionality for all watch owners, even if it lacks the extended functionality.

With that – thanks for reading!

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152 Comments

  1. Alberto

    How are files stored inside the Ambits?

  2. Steve

    Thanks for the effort you’ve put in to researching and writing this. Much appreciated.

    Apart from the impact on earlier Ambits, I’ve listed what the Ambit 3 seems to be losing:

    * Changing sport modes
    * Planning Structured workouts
    * Planning routes and uploading them to the Ambit 3
    * Saving POIs to Ambit 3
    * Installing and using apps

    If anyone wants to make a noise about this, head over to link to forum.suunto.com or tweet at @suunto

  3. Doesn’t the Garmin FR305 need software to download its data? Don’t think it mounts like a USB drive.

  4. Pavel

    Great wrap up, as always!
    Can you share the link for the new web interface working with the new Suunto app?

    BR

  5. Philip

    Have they said if they are adding Suunto Movies to the new App? Seems like a large oversight not to have that.

  6. Matt H

    I’m so annoyed at this, being an Ambit 3 Peak owner I love the watch even if it has some failings. What irritates me most is that Suunto are still selling the watch today.
    So from my guestimation reading between the lines on their FAQs is that I’ll no longer be able to set up more sports pages or customise displays, neither will I be able to upload any training plans.
    Annoyingly it tried the Suunto app a while back to try it out and my watch no longer worked with the Movescount app so I had to uninstall the Suunto App and re-install the Movescount app. I think the worst part of this is I can’t see what my data’s going to look like in the Suunto App because well, it barely functions and none of my data was transferred.
    I think the easiest option is to have a stand alone PC/Mac/Linux desktop app that allows users to change sport modes and upload training plans etc. and extract the gps files in a sensible format so users can choose where they want to send it (be it Suunto/Movescount/Strava/Garmin Connect (that’s a hint Suunto people). If I’m honest I’m not that bothered about the loss of apps as the ones I use aren’t super useful anyway.
    Sadly after having the Pebble watch that’s now a plastic paperweight and potentially now a Suunto Ambit 3 that looks as if it could go the same way I think the next watch is going to have to be from a tried and tested and most importantly, trusted supplier.

    • Jordan

      None of my activities from my ambit 3 seem to upload to the suunto app either… kinda annoying to have a watch that is now basically useless

    • margusl

      I’m currently using Suunto App with Ambit3, the latest beta on Android. It basically does just one thing – syncs activities. And actually it does this quite well, once app’s power management is all set so it’s not forced to sleep while in background, sync is automatic. That’s something that never really worked for me with MC app. I run without a phone and few minutes after I’m back inside, I start getting notification from Suunto, Strava and TrainingPeaks apps about new finished activity. And unlike with Movescount-Strava sync, elevation data in Strava is not re-calculated and matches figures on a watch. It also provides direct Endomondo sync.
      Oh yeah, it can also send notifications. And update SGEE data for GPS. No configuration, sport modes, route loading etc.

      But in most cases I have no problem switching to Movescount app once a week or when I need to sync changes made in Movescount. Switching off bluetooth before running Movescount and letting MC itself turn it back on seems to do the trick.

      With this transition my main concern is loosing structured workouts and apps.

  7. Spencer Oswald

    Yeah I am still rocking the ambit 2s. I have had it for 5 years and still works great. Eventually I want to upgrade but the 2s has been solid. I honestly never liked moves count my Abit even lost 6 months of data uploading to moves count a few years back. As long as I can download the gos data and import it into Strava I will be happy.

  8. That sucks. I’m really loving the performance of my Ambit3 RUN and got out of the Garmin ecosystem specifically because the Ambit3 RUN supported routes. I depend on this feature for planning trail runs and so I don’t get lost during Ragnar…

    I’d better start working on an exit plan…or find a way to put a new battery in my Garmin Forerunner 205!!!

  9. Juro

    It should be said that the Garmin advantage (and independence from online platforms) applies only to workout data – not to 24×7 activity, heart rate, sleep data etc.

    • Actually, it is there. 🙂

      You can crack open the Garmin structure and find the daily activity/HR/etc bits all in there. It chunks them into .FIT files, which in turn other apps could open. Though, I’m not sure of any that do that. But in theory you can.

    • Alberto

      FitnessSyncer syncs my sleep data to Training Peaks 😉

    • Juro

      True, what I meant to say that the workout file structure almost “invites” offline processing (files are not deleted, overwritten, etc.) but the activity data, while there, is kot stored in a way that caters for the “store locally” scenario.

    • Robin

      Today’s Plan sync’s sleep, stepcount and RHR. Not sure if they do anything else.

    • flokon

      If you care enough to log your training circumventing manufacturers’ online services, chances are you’re a committed athlete who generally doesn’t care about all the fluff like 24×7 activity/sleep data/hr monitoring anyway.
      Even a recreational runner with a low mileage of maybe 70k a week exercises enough so that he doesn’t have to care about meeting step/stair targets. 😉

  10. I am into triathlon since 1989 and I started of with a simple Polar device without heartrate limit alarm, neither stopwatch and whatsoever. It was about 2005 where I got an 720i…. this one was used up to a 2016! The only reason I dumped it, was that Windows didn’t support IR transmission anymore, plus Polar Trainer Software was not updated. By that time I decided to jump on the garmin train, which was a hard decision, because getting all my old data into the garmin connect account was quiet time consuming. Long story in short: change from one company to another isn’t an easy step and I guess people would prefer not to do that, unless they are really brutally forced to.
    In this case, it seems they force people to do so….which in turn is a good point in time to change your device manufacturer.

  11. Rui Pereira

    “…they have a lack of software problem” something wasn’t deleted in there…

    • Actually, it’s as I intended.

      My point is/was that Suunto constantly lacks the software to pull things together. Be it features online to support their hardware (such as not recording/plotting resting HR), or big ticket items like lack of core trail navigation features in an online platform dedicated to trail navigation users.

  12. Rob

    I have a Traverse, still use my old Ambit 1 and use Movescount to plan all my routes (and POIs). If I lose functionality on the Suuntos I own, I won’t buy another. Of course things move on but it seems like it was pointless paying a premium for a long lasting product if it now becomes loses functionality. It can’t be that hard to give some support to legacy hardware if most of the code is already written.

    • Dan G

      Strava is great for planning routes and exporting them as gpx. Only higher-end Garmin watches
      — 645 and up — support following them though :-/. Crazily Polar’s two new watches don’t support routes.

  13. Abdiel

    So Ray’s reading a finnish manual? o_O

  14. steven

    So we’ll have to make routes on our smarthphones or is there also a pc platform?
    Will you be able to make POI’s in the watch itself.

  15. Matthew

    As long as the suunto app includes the ‘operational’ features of movescount it should be ok for ambit 3. i.e. changing sport modes, displays etc. If that doesn’t carry through then this is a real foot shooter in terms of brand loyalty.

    I also tried the suunto app recently and it is missing too many things to be usable with an ambit currently. Even more disappointing was looking at the data transferred – my swimming activities had pace in min/km or km/hr, which isn’t very helpful.

    I moved specifically to suunto from garmin as although not flashy, everything seems solid and functional. Still, as has been mentioned, it is still a long way off, BUT, if i buy a new device in future, how this change is managed will impact on my choice of manufacturer.

  16. CharlesH

    In my view Suunto make good hardware, and this is their selling point.

    The alternative to getting lots of developers is to provide open APIs
    and an open protocol on-watch format. OpenAmbit shows it is possible to
    parse the on-watch data; it would just be much more convenient (and
    comprehensive) if there was an opensource Suunto library to do so. An
    API and open watch data format could open up an ecosystem for them,
    allowing Suunto to focus on their devices. Also a much larger community
    could help them with their software issues.

    There is also another problem which one could call the “Apple iPhone
    problem”. The Ambit 2 and 3s are a bit too well made. If you pair them
    with a high quality HR sensor and maybe a cheap footpod you have more
    than enough ‘actionable data’ for a recreational runner like me doing
    25-40km/week. The issue now is finding where to store that information.

    It’s really sad to see Movescount, which was pretty good, bite the dust.
    Luckily I’ve been using the Strava sync for years now and Strava have
    comprehensive APIs. More concretely, you can just get your data, which
    is quite difficult in Movescount.

    What is an upgrade path for a reasonably happy Ambit 3 user, using an
    external HR strap and footpod?

    I think Suunto should develop a watch with an open-standard on-watch
    format, and an open API for data exchange. But how about a Nikon FM2
    type watch, a beautifully made device (perhaps with an e-ink screen?),
    FusedTrack, external HR monitor and footpod, giving good tracks,
    excellent HR and pace data. Suunto could also make a parallel service
    for analysing HRV and recovery which could be an income generator if it
    was really good.

    If Suunto are trying to go high-end they should consider letting go of
    everything else

    • Bartek

      Hi, I am the Ambit 2 user and I would extend your thought. I would have open the Ambit 2 and 3 watch operating system. This would give the community to work on their own on the watch software. What you think?

  17. Yossarian

    I have the feeling that Suunto has an identity crisis in the last 2 years from which they are not able to escape. Who are they targeting with their new watches & platforms? The new watches are still too heavy and thick to truly become watches for trendy, fashion oriented people as the Apple watch is a lot better choice in multiple ways among others. They let down their own hiker, trail runner community by not offering them anymore the reliability, gps accuracy, route support of the Ambit series. They cannot compete with Garmin in terms of features (they are at least 2 years behind -> something like Spotify support is probably never going to happen), and they are a lot more expensive compared to the Asian competing watches (coros, etc.) … And now you say they are going to even further let down the only solid community they had from the past by trimming down all backward compatibility, connectivity of the old Ambit watches … really a shame. I kept my Ambit 2R as a reliable backup for my Garmin 935, but in this way Suunto has lost all my trust and any hint of their past reputation as reliable, accurate, durable and customisable supplier of GPS watches. How hard can it be to make a tool which is just able to spit out .FIT files or something similar when fetching all data from a watch they made themselves in support of the your own longterm customer community. If you dump old Ambit users like this, you dump the only thing Suunto still had: the image of durability and “indestroyability” … who cares about a durable watch he cannot get the data from anymore.

    If Suunto wants to survive, they need to find at least one dimension in which they do better or different than their competitors … it used to be reliability, accuracy and durability, now I do not know anymore what it is :(.

    • Tim

      I think this is a very interesting post – but more than because of the (albeit for the most part agreeable upon) opinion on Suunto’s strategy, because of the personal story.

      “I kept my Ambit 2R as a reliable backup for my Garmin 935” – which means Suunto already lost you as a customer a while ago. And more than likely, they would have had to come up with something different than what they used to do to (the Ambit3, which had more features than the Ambit2 and the same reliability and accuracy, didn’t cut it – probably because it didn’t have the feature Garmin developed in these years).

      So you kept the Ambit2R, but you were essentially lost already for Suunto. And maintaining Movescount for a “lost” customer would not work.

    • Yossarian

      I believe that keeping your old watches usable should also be important for Suunto’s reputation, even if only for the second hand market. For example, still many people are willing to pay 50 euros for an old Forerunner 210 … I would argue the Ambit 2R is superior in all aspects (except size), however nobody will still want it once there is no platform or way to get your data out of it. It doesn’t help to convince me buying future Suunto watches, maybe they will drop their new platform as well in 5 years … again making my new watch useless in 5 years and no possibility to sell it secondhand. I do not want to buy throw-away products.

      Back to my personal story … I went for the 935 because of the Garmin (hardware) feature of the optical HR. At that moment Suunto was very late with that … and all subsequent reviews of Suunto’s Valencell OHR were not exactly raving.
      You might argue the same will happen again in the future and Suunto will never win me/people back. While Suunto is getting their new platforms right and including basic features, Garmin was/is integrating maps support, integrated music player, LTE support, camera?, etc. But what then should convince people to buy Suunto products?

    • Tim

      I get your point entirely, and as I said, I mostly agree. I just meant that in some ways your personal experience is at least in part showing that keeping all customers all the time was already proving difficult for Suunto (also based on what you mentioned about wrist HR, maps, music, etc.).

    • Dan G

      “it used to be reliability, accuracy and durability” — I don’t see that the 9 is lacking in any of those areas. Suunto is targeting the ultra/adventurer market, and doing quite well as far as can see.

    • Stanislav

      Suunto 9 isn’t as accurate as Ambit3. Far from that. When I run on trails under tree cover Suunto 9 manages to produce new GPS position only every 3 or 4 seconds as opposed to reliable one second update for Ambit3. As a result there is a lot of corner and switchback cutting, and the distances come up shorter. So the accuracy advantage is mostly gone.

  18. Emir

    It’s really not fair that company who’s whole business model is based on making high quality premium devices, that are, in their own words, “built to last” just decides to render those products unusable or cripple them. It’s suunto who made these products depended on their movescount platform. They are still selling ambit3 watches which for the most part can be customized only using movescount. So, if they want to abandon movescount and don’t provide alternative software for managing the devices, they effectively turn those devices into paper weight.
    That is very disturbing, possibly illegal and certainly not encouraging for new users. The decision to stop using some device, should be up to customer, not manufacturer.
    This is some seriously horrible PR of Suunto. I hope they come to reason soon because I’d hate if they’d go out of business because of lack of respect for their loyal customers. People who use these watches for sports activities tend to stick to the platform they are familiar with. If you shut down their platform, guess what… They will find another. And it certainly not going to be half baked toy mobile app, but something more similar to experience they already had.

  19. Kelly

    Unhappy Ambit 3 vertical user 😡 if I lose customisation and structured workouts.
    Also, someone should probably point out to Suunto that not all of their users live in the same hemisphere, so “Summer” might be a year away or 18 months away?

  20. Rémy CLOUARD

    Happy Ambit3 peak user here, I like the movescount app and website, and have a good grasp on what I can do with it. The new Suunto app lacks so many features that to me it’s a nogo right now. I particularly liked how in-depth you could go with custom workouts, something my previous watch couldn’t do (TomTom Spark)

    And I now have a Stryd power meter and its powercenter platform only fetches workouts from Movescount (useful to get GPS data on top of Stryd’s metrics).

    Don’t fix it if it’s not broken 😔

  21. Sparts

    The Beta testing has a new release that has the option to create routes from a previous move.
    Surely if they are moving moves from Movescount then you can just create the route from the move.

  22. Dave

    Well, Suunto just made very sure that my Spartan Ultra experiment, which saw me pay for a watch that did next to nothing compared to the rest of the market at that price level, will be the last product of theirs I’ll buy.

    Pushing a hard kill onto customers still using a capable product is incredibly arrogant, and shortsighted in the extreme. Garmin Descent Mk2, if it appears, will be my next move.

  23. Fiatlux

    I use the rubitrack software on my Mac to keep a local copy of my sport logs. It seems to support direct syncing with Ambit watches.

    There must be similar solutions fo Windows.

    • roni

      This is interesting – I use rubitrack as well, but it never downloaded any data from my Ambit without the data first going into Movescount. After reading this post I thought I know why. Can you get the data down without a Movescount sync?
      With my Garmin Fenix 5s I can directly download data. It’s fancy, but it misses accuracy and is rapidly using battery capacity. I was hoping Suunto would come up with a good somewhat smaller device soon, but well seems they want to go out of the outdoor market.

  24. margusl

    Even when using Rubitrack, sync is still handled by Suunto Moveslink2, Rubitrack then imports Moveslink sml files.
    And there are other somewhat similar tools with sml support that are available for Windows, GoldenCheetah for example.

    But it doesn’t help when it comes to updating sport modes & structured workouts, loading routes, POIs and working with apps.

  25. Rob

    Suunto have upset users before – like the time development of Ambit 1 features was stopped after continued support was promised (although it looked like they had actually hit the limit of the hardware that time).But this would be a much bigger kick for current users. I actually didn’t wear my Traverse this morning 🙁 Do they think I’ll spend a chunk on a new Suunto now?

  26. Greetings from the country where bears walk with a balalaika through the streets 🙂

    I think there is no reason to buy Suunto 9 etc. Suunto just spit on their customers. Only service-design is a good tactic for upgrade watches and services (evolution way instead of revolution). To save buyers and community. But now I see the Nokia’s way here – loss quality and self identification in the name of trends. Sadly. But I hope what OpenAmibit’s developers and contributors get real chance to create lovely open source service and app for all platfoms.

  27. Thijs

    I didn’t get the big deal here until the last bit, where you state that Suunto and Polar don’t simply support being USB file storage… Never realized that, being a Garmin user!
    That makes this change a big problem imo. You should ALWAYS be able to access your data.

    The easiest option here would be to bring a very basic driver/application into Open Source territory and let the community handle the rest. Even a really basic program that exports files from the watch would be enough at that point.
    I’m fairly sure that there is an overlap between older-watch-using-geeks and programming-geeks to help resolve this issue.

    • Dave

      I think hat at this stage of maturity in the GPS watch game the introduction of *any* friction whatsoever for users is likely to prove disastrous.

  28. Tom Wilsher

    I get what they are doing a fundamentally agree it makes sense. I agree with your point about needing developers but I also think they need to look at the way they operate too. Making announcements like this without a roadmap for products they are still selling is just poor business sense and poor planning. I could go on for a while about all the things they have done poorly but the critical one for me is that they consistently seem willing to inflict self-harm on their brand by not engaging properly with users before announcing changes to things. Maybe they think their big name sponsors and solid hardware (the watches are better than Garmin). Also seems to be a lack of common sense – obviously users are going to want the same/similar level of functionality in an app and currently, as an Ambit 3 Peak user, it’s not entirely clear if features like sports modes and route will definitely come to the app. I suspect it will, but to not have a roadmap for basics like this just attracts negative feedback.

    I’ll stop there for now! Suunto if you are listening and need a good Business Analyst in your ranks (clearly you do), let me know! 🙂

  29. Alex N.

    Well, sad to say but on one hand – I still have my Ambit 2 and time to time using it, but I have no trust in Suunto anymore for a few years.

    It started with dropping ANT+ connectivity. Having a bunch of cycling ANT+ sensors I seriously disliked the idea to sell everything and get Bluetooth-enabled ones. So no upgrade to new Suunto.

    And now this possible Movescount drop… well. Not good. Let’s see where it will go…

  30. I used an open source Linux application to sync my data from an Ambit2 series watch, Openambit – openambit.org. The developer(s) behind it know how to get the data out of the watch onto your computer.

    Had a Quest, an Ambit2 R and now an Ambit3 Sport.

    The main reason to use these was the awesome hardware and the Movescount platform. Never had a problem with any of the watches or with the measured data. And the platform is awesome, so much data, nicely structured.

    I never upgraded to the Spartan series, it is a step back. And now the platform behind it is going to be less useful, too.

    I stayed with Suunto while they developed their horribly bad Android app. Not again.

  31. Fluxusbot

    Happy Ambit 1 user — I still love the buttons, b/w display and unmatched battery life when in the outdoors/ on an ultra.

    I’d love to see two things:
    1. Suunto needs to continue to support Moveslink to synch my workouts to the PC. SportTracks is my favourite software to analyse and plan all my workouts.
    2- Movescount is needed for maintaining and providing apps to my Ambit 1, which I need for structured workouts.

    Rendering my watch useless by not supporting uploads anymore would be a shambles. Even though I like Suunto and the brand lineup of Amer Sports, I’d be considering another watch given the great advances other watchmakers have made a sof late.

  32. Carsten

    Hi,

    I am in the market for a new Triathlon Watch. The Suunto 9 looks promising, but is it really not possible to create a custom workout either directly on the watch or using their online platform (which I would prefer)? e.g. 5min warm up, 10x(600m at pace 4:20-4:40 min/km; 1min easy), 5min cool down

    Regards
    Carsten

    • RobertB

      No. Which i why the SST is the only watch i own from them. Stick to Garmin or Polar for guided workouts. Saying that i’ve no experience of the recent Vantage series. I went back to Garmin but did love the V800, knowing Polar they have probably removed that feature and will add it back in two years time. Every goddam feature or added bug takes ages to fix.

    • Dan G

      You can set intervals, but only with distance or time targets. No pace power or HR alerts.

      link to suunto.com

  33. Almos Papp

    This is ridiculous. What is the problem with Movescount that justifies Suunto’s measure to abandon it? Is the new Suunto better? Apparently not, at least not today. Has the Movescount any defects or does it lack any substantial functionality? Definitely not, actually, it the other way around: Suunto’s new app lack specific important features that Movescount has for many years without any issue. I not only see no point in Suunto’s change but find it rather dangerous to Suunto’s reputation and consumer goodwill. Had they invested the money and efforts that have spent on the new Suunto app, we would already have a superior Movescount app. Suunto, please wake up and stop wasting your money and ruining your goodwill.

  34. Mr. Cod

    I’ve seen plenty of instances where a company self-sabotages while it’s putting itself up for sale in order to goose the books for prospective buyers, only to quickly ramp back up once the deal closes. Hopefully that’s the case here, and now they’ve been bought they’ll be able to really move the needle quickly on the new platform. Having recently switched over from Garmin, I’m mostly happy once I figured out Sync My Tracks, but there are a couple of missing things that are real head-scratchers.

  35. Luca

    That’s really unfair and arrogant from Suunto. I have an Ambit2 that I use for trail/ultrarunning and I need POIs and routes. It does its job perfectly and works well, I don’t need any watch to see how well or bad I sleep. A company that sells quality and long lasting products cannot turn down its customers this way. And one could still buy brand new Ambit2s a couple of years ago.

    I trusted Suunto because they promised serious watches for the serious athletes who are not interested in lots of functions and this is the result. If Suunto does not fix a decent desktop app to support Ambi1 and 2s after Movescount I will for sure never buy another Suunto product again. Garmin, I’m coming!

    P.S. Thank you Ray for your investigation on this matter!

  36. TaF

    I like my Ambit2 S, it just works, i use it in all my sports… i’am really woried, because, i was not planning to buy another watch so soon!!!

    I just emailed suunto:

    “Ambit, Ambit2, M-series, T-series and Quest Collection watches
    These Suunto products will not be compatible with Suunto app due to no mobile connectivity (Bluetooth).

    We are excited to offer you the ability to transfer your Move history from Movescount to Suunto app and continue your experience with Suunto. We will inform you once the transfer is available.”

    Question is : How can I “continue MY experience with Suunto” ????

    • TaF

      The answer, or the NON answer!!!

      Dear TF,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      The experience of each member of the Suunto community is important to us, particularly in times of change and transition. For now, you can continue to enjoy your Suunto Ambit2 S Black (HR) Limited Edition for at least the next year and half as you have been. We understand and appreciate your feedback and we are looking into the best solutions for all products owners to join us in our new service. We are committed to keeping you informed of what these solutions will be via email and on suunto.com

      Thanks for understanding.

      Sincerely,
      Rushiel
      Suunto Customer Support Team”

    • James Campbell

      Exactly the same message I received. Literally word for word.

    • Paul D

      Of course it is. They would’ve been flooded with the same question so it makes sense to have a templated answer to quickly and consistently answer that same question.

    • James Campbell

      I’ve just received an email on this in which Suunto acknowledge the concerns of users of the Movescount web platform and those who only use USB to comnect such as Ambit/Ambit2 users.

      They say they will have more information to follow.

      This seems like a positive step towards a solution that addresses the needs of USB only users.

  37. Aaron

    In my option the elephant in the room is the acquisition by Anta (Chinese Nike) private equity firm and lulumon dude, as Suunto will be a tiny part of this big megacorp.. knowing the trajectory of these kinds of acquisitions just look at history since amer sports bought the brand – the retirement of movescount 2020 is an eternity, and all bets are off where Suunto will go. I can only imagine the employee morale…

    • Dan G

      You are entirely mistaken. Anta has purchased Amer mainly to access the premium market in China via Amer’s brands. They will all be receiving a welcome cash injection (look at what the purchase of Volvo by Geely and Jaguar Land Rover by Tata achieved).

    • Aaron

      I don’t follow… I’m mistaken that it’s not the elephant in the room? Or that people should look at how Suunto’s tech progressed after the Amer Sports sale? Or that all bets are off where Suunto will go?

      It’s fine if you think this sale won’t have any effect on Suunto. Maybe you have insider information. I don’t. 🙃

    • Peter

      Volvo – Geely is unusual sucessful. Many many acquisitions fail completety.

  38. Andrew

    My take, having used both Suunto app and movescount today.
    There is another gap, that I have not yet seen the plan to plug.
    With the Suunto app – it is currently a mobile phone only app. There is not even web access, so for me I am struggling to follow the logic of Suunto by releasing and pushing the crippled Suunto App.
    I really hope the plan includes some form of windows/apple interface because route planning on the mobile phone is somewhat annoying.

    • Jorde

      I just checked the new Suunto App version of route planning and it seems that you don’t have the detailed maps for route planning for free, you can click on the map and it will find the routes you seek, but most of the lakes, hills etc. don’t have any name for them or countour lines. You will have to pay for those in the new Suunto app, whereas in the Movescount app they are completely free.

      Luckily, there are other apps out there for route planning, which are completely free, although I really like the Movescount route creation tool which automatically finds the shortest route and it’s very intuitive to use. I really was thinking of purchasing a Suunto 9 Baro to replace my Garmin Fenix 3 HR, but after this news bomb and milking more money out of the users, I will stick to my F3HR for a few years more. I will not be a clown and pay for features that previously were offered for free. And the Suunto App is terrible and non-intuitive on the phone, route creation and the user experience in general is light years away on a PC screen with physical mouse and keyboard.

  39. TaF

    Didn’t know about that Anta acquisition … so Suunto is dead to me…. any recommendations on good running/training watches????

  40. Dan G

    How did Suunto even end up with two platforms?

  41. vojko

    It is sad that a company like Suunto is treating their customers/users like this…especially when they produce quite high quality watches…at least mechanicaly…..I was suunto user for many years but have change to garmin recently (after reading Ray’s post)…. and I don’t regret it at all….Garmin has much better support.
    But anyway I hope suunto manage to get back in action..,:)

  42. Jani

    Well, there is no mention about DM5. Only that the older diving computers don’t have bluetooth. Yes, we know that, but are they going to implement the new site to DM5 or are they really dropping all support for the older dive computers.

    FAQ should have answers, and if they don’t have answers, the should tell that they don’t have yet decided the things.

    • Jani

      Ok, on Facebook they said:

      “Suunto Diving Hi Fabrice, apologies for the late response.In the time being, nothing changes and you can continue using Movescount and all its features for at least another year and a half. All information about future developments and solutions for all Suunto products owners will be shared in suunto.com and via email.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. This is much appreciated since the Suunto App is a work in progress and the suggestions of our community are important to us when deciding what feature to include and what priorities to have.

      We are committed to keeping you informed of what these solutions will be via email and on suunto.com, so stay tuned. Thanks/Tess”

      So, they don’t know yet.

  43. Jim Skibo

    I have a t6d, A1, A3, and Spartan Ultra. I still use STRAM and also Neotrack2 to offload data.

  44. joan jett

    T6 forever !!! beats every other watch for accuracy !

  45. Jorde

    It’s like Suunto really wants us to use Garmin instead.

  46. Luís Pinto

    I wanted to give a word of encouragement to developers. Clock now does not stop. Someone put even more pressure on your shoulders!

  47. Movescount has one unique feature that I would miss – the flexible way to perform statistical calculations based on 3 measurement categories. The resulting graph offered me valuable insights to specific questions. All measured data can be plotted to see annual progress. I really hope that the new portal offers something like this. And if hope not helps I scream for it. To be clear this feature would be the only reason to stay with Suunto. All other features can be easily found looking at competitors.

  48. James

    The problem for me is that I have written my own apps on Movescount and use the surfing apps. I use a rhythm+ so I don’t want a wrist based optical sensor. I don’t need all the routing functions. All I want is a watch that can handle every sport and tell me if I need to rest. I don’t want to pay for things, I don’t want to have to take my phone, I don’t want measure my sleep or play music.

    My A3s does everything I want. And it works, is super accurate, finds gps faster than I can get on my bike or lock the front door. I can program it to give me whatever numbers I want.

    To me it’s like how you can’t get a cheap performance car (in oz) because the high power version comes loaded with all the fruit.

    I hope that at least they’ll have a feature that allows download of the .fit or .gpx files

  49. Trygve Veslum

    Why the h*ll are they omitting POIs? As a keen mountaineer I think they are very useful for navigating in the mountains, like mountain peaks etc especially when the vis is bad. I wished that they would introduce a map-function on their high end watches just like Garmin has, but doesnt seem they are going this direction anymore. The reason I dont wanna use Garmin watches though is that the GPS accuracy sucks once Im finding myself in steep terrain and under cliffs etc, which my Ambit3 Peak handles much much better. Ambit3 accuracy and battery life+Garmin map function would be perfect for mountaineering. Is it only me that sees that as a perfect combination?

    The new app reminds me about Apples health app. Seems to me that Suunto is aiming more and more towards teenage girls working out for the beach body rather than mountaineers and athletes. More money in this segment for sure. What does Kilian and co think about this? They are probably paid to tell that the new app is perfect anyway.

    • Snomad

      Pretty much in agreement here. I’ve been the proud (mostly) happy owner of an Ambit 3 Peak Sapphire for a few years now, and really didn’t want to go the Garmin route because of the superior GPS accuracy and battery life of the Suunto. It’s actually quite incredible hardware.

      I’d considered jumping ship to Garmin a couple years back when they first REALLY messed up Movescount and I couldn’t sync any POIs at all, and then strongly considered it again while traveling and skiing in Central Asia when I realized I couldn’t update any POIs or routes without a solid internet connection. The inability for any offline mapping or POI capabilities (beyond the incredibly rudimentary in watch functions) was upsetting when I knew I could do it on a Garmin platform using Basecamp.

      This most recent news takes the already less than stellar interface with a great piece of hardware and neuters it to the point that I’m not sure that the extra few hours of GPS life are worth it when I compare it to the newest hardware available that has quite accurate wrist-based HR, Pulse Ox, and the ability to interface with any number of online or offline interfaces.

      Suunto is yet again tone-deaf to what their users need or want in the software / interface department and this could really do them in with a significant sector of an otherwise loyal market. Let’s hope their dive computers and compasses are enough to keep them afloat… or maybe they could license or otherwise find a way to get a third party to write a program to keep their users happy to use and recommend their product to fellow outdoors-folks.

      In the meantime I’ll probably start watching the prices on the Garmin Fenix 5+ line…

  50. Meir Oktan

    Suunto,
    please keep your side in the “agreement” we have. Keep letting us enter & view OUR data on the watch (even if its old), load routes with POI, change settings & sports mode, using the beautiful Movescount site.

    We will keep being loyal & happy customers. Will buy your new watches and will tell our friends & family that you create great, durable & reliable gear & software.

    Thank you.

  51. MG

    Thanks DC for this thorough post.

    I own two Ambit3 Peaks – a regular and a sapphire model. I abandoned my Garmin 310XTs for these watches because as an ultra-runner I depend on the 20 and 30 hour battery life options (which I might add work great, just as advertised!) I have recommended these watches to many other runners through my blog and community – in fact I have a friend that I convinced to buy an Ambit3 Peak new, from Suunto, just days before their announcement.

    To discontinue full compatibility and support for these watches is immoral, disingenuous, and just plain wrong. I can’t believe a large company like Suunto would even consider a business move like this.

    I know they have said that we will be able to sync from our Ambit3s to the new Suunto app – but they have not mentioned anything so far about being able to customize sport modes, an essential basic function of the watch. We cannot change the data that we see and display through the watch itself – we must use the software to do that (unlike my old Garmin which you could actually change on the watch). Without the capability to change these sport modes we are left with a very expensive watch that is effectively broken.

    The fact that Suunto is still selling these watches on their website should be illegal.

    I am also confused by Suunto’s response – surely they have heard the outcry. Many of their loyal supporters have tweeted them, emailed them, and made accounts on their forum to give their feedback. And still, we hear nothing.

    If they want to save the future of their company they need to send out a new line of communication to all users (just like the digital service agreement) saying that yes, we value our relationship with you, and guarantee that you will have full support for your devices that you bought from us for many many years to come.

  52. I really like my Ambit 1, its tough. And for the workouts onland or at the waterside I still use very much the A1 also recording workouts as a backup watch. I truly like the battery lifetime of this watch,
    the SSU which I also have is also a no brainer, but batterylife is not that good as the A1….

    hope Suunto will decide to keep te A1 integrated with Suunto Online Platform by a wiredconnection on the PC.
    I hate firms that want to leave older equipment, as our footprint is getting bigger and bigger if there is from time to time the watch needs renewal because a company decides older ones aint supported anymore. Come on Suunto, you are the company that always was the one with respect to legacy products. So don’t leave this road…

  53. Andreas

    I am a happy owner of an Ambit3 Peak and extremely pleased with its accuracy, durability, battery capacity and relevant funcationality (endurance sports incl. triathlon). Until, the recent news from Suunto, I had started to realize that this watch will likely keep me satisfied and proud for many more years. I have convinced quite a number of friends to join the Suunto-world and rely on a robust, rather than fancy watch. But the latest news makes me so disappointed. Suunto should embrace and carefully take care of their customers, heritage and history. Not just turn their back to the owners of their super watches – what a shame! I have logged about 2000 activities with my Ambit 2 and Ambit 3 – does that make me a good or a bad customer? I believe the answer has to do with the time perspective you apply. Maybe Suuntos time horizon is not that long anymore…

    Is Ambit 3 days counted? I am still not convinced by the answers from Suunto Customer Support….

    Hello,

    With the announced close down of Movescount and the Movescount App, will I be able to change sport mode in my Ambit3 Peak?

    BR,

    //YYY

    —–

    Dear YYY,

    Thank you for reaching out to us regarding your concern.

    With Suunto App, you will still be able to customize your sport modes. We highly recommend that you try it out and see the exciting features in store within the app.

    If you are using an Android device, please click this link to access the guide for customizing your sport modes.

    If you are using an iOS device, please click this link instead.

    We hope this helps you. For any other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Sincerely,
    YYY
    Suunto Customer Support Team

    ——-

    Hello again,

    Is your answer really valid for Ambit3? Already now?

    BR,

    //YYY

    —–

    Dear YYY,

    Thanks for keeping in touch with us.

    We are delighted to inform you that you will definitely be able to pair your Ambit3 with Suunto App and customize sport modes.

    I have attached some links for your perusal. The pages will contain detailed explanations that will make pairing the Ambit3 easy using either an Android or iOS device. Once paired successfully, you should be able to customize your preferred sport modes.

    If you are using an Android device, please click this link here.

    If you are using an iOS device, click this link instead.

    We hope this helps and please let us know if you have other concerns.

    Sincerely,
    XXX
    Suunto Customer Support Team
    ref:_00Db0ILKF._5000X

  54. Bob Coleman

    The idea that tech/gear, Ambit 2 in this case, isn’t a winner seems to be a problem. So much gear just doesn’t last anymore, but the Ambit 2 just trucks along.

  55. Oskar

    Was really happy with Ambit 2, I was planning to upgrade to something newer, but luck of support for Ambit2 it’s a Killer for me. No Sunnto 9 I guess then as they can do the same thing for this watch again in next 5 yeras…

    Need to go give my money to Garmin again.

  56. Aaron Morrison

    Ambit 2 user since 2013. Use it all the time. Looking at an eventual shift to the 9 (or whatever the cool Suunto watch is called when I upgrade) because the battery life is amazing on Suunto products. However, after getting the e-mail from Suunto I am definitely reconsidering staying with their products if they remove my ability to download my workout data – and get simple satellite updates. I hope they get enough noise on the matter and figure out a workaround to provide those minimums of support for the watch after the summer of 2020.

    • CharlesH

      Would you be happy if Suunto released a software library to read/write information to your watch via the desktop?

      Exporting FIT files (I don’t know if this includes recovery data) and importing routes seem to be the main issues and if we all had a simple way of doing that the excellence of the devices can be preserved and we can use the best platforms out there.

      Maybe this is the route Suunto should take? It would save them a lot of development investment.

  57. James Campbell

    Thank you for this post. As an Ambit 2 user I immediately emailed Suunto upon receipt of their announcement email and got a rather shoddy, standard email telling me that there was no planned support for USB connected devices as part of this but with the vague message that this may not actually be the case in future.

    What I found difficult to understand as an analyst myself was, that given that all Movescount users register their device (including part number) as part of their joining Movescount, the R&D team must know exactly how many active users are still using a USB Suunto 1/2 series watch via Moveslink to upload and create/download/use routes, PoI’s and Apps.

    I’m particularly disappointed because I bought my watch in 2015 and the main thing that I loved about it was the flexibility to add/remove/customise sport modes, apps and routes which has formed a large part of my ultramarathon journey in itself.

    Even if I manage to get my watch set up into a place where I could live with only ever having a set amount of sport modes in a permanent configuration and upload via a 3rd party app or website, this still essentially reduces my watch to similar capabilities of entry level watches that are on the market for less than a quarter of the price I paid for my Suunto.

    Your post, re-affirms my view that I should keep shouting as loudly as possible about my dissatisfaction with the situation, but I suspect many users will just suck it up and upgrade or move to another brand.

    • MG

      Hey James,

      So has anyone tried to see if you can actually change sport modes using the new Suunto app? I feel like they are just blowing smoke, but maybe I would be shocked and they have implemented it…

      There is a very active thread on the Suunto Forum about the “digital service transition”, I encourage you to register and post over there if you have not. Supposedly the moderators are relaying all comments to Suunto, FWIW. Over 25,000 views, if Suunto knows what’s good for them they will make a clarifying statement to their customer base soon before they lose them all.

    • James Campbell

      Someone linked me to this after I posted in Ultrarunning Community on Facebook on the day I received my email.

      At that point, there weren’t many comments and Suunto weren’t making any assurances either.

      I struggle to believe that they’d take notice of forum comments if their R&D couldn’t even be bothered to look at the volume of users using each device and what features of Movescount those users are accessing.

      I seriously cannot believe that there isn’t a large majority of users continually loading routes and Points of Interest onto devices. It’s (route .gpx) always one of the first things people ask about in all the races I’m involved in. Suunto have to have known this and appear to have ignored it.

      I’ll look on the forums again, but my approach is writing to the CEO and execs of both Amer and Suunto.

    • MG

      Would you mind sharing their emails? I would love to send them my thoughts too.

  58. Andrew Stevens

    I have been one of Suunto’s biggest fans for several years, especially after a less-than-satisfactory brush with Garmin’s customer support (I won’t go into details) in 2016. However, In the last week I’ve done some serious thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion of abandoning Suunto entirely (except for my Core, which is on it’s 5th year and still going strong)…and buying a Garmin. I don’t exactly like doing business with companies that sell out and forceably make key features (if not entire devices) null and void, especially when their entire corporate image has been about reliability. One of the key reasons I went with Suunto was Suunto apps, since I could do whatever the heck I wanted with the watch. If they’re trying to get me to ditch my still-under-warranty Traverse and move to a Spartan, they failed–it straight-up doesn’t do what I want it too. Just my $0.02, but I can definitely say I won’t be sending any friends in the direction of Suunto…

  59. DC Dan

    Timely article and good insight Ray regarding legacy/end of life support for cloud services. This is why I was so reluctant to upgrade from my, don’t laugh, Polar SX625 and desktop app which worked just fine for 15 years. Sure, I miss out on “community,” what’s trending, social media, the Kardashians, etc. but all I want is to monitor and log my activity. Period. Finally upgraded to a Fenix 5 (thanks to your reviews and deal with Clever Training) BUT I minimize my interaction with the cloud and rely mostly on the watch UI to monitor, log, and review.

    Topic you don’t address is that the monetization of user data often exceeds the sales margin earned on tech over a multi year period. Cars, TVs, fitness gadgets, smartphones, etc. business models have evolved to data mining plays. That’s why here at ISAF we’ve all been ordered to ditch all connected fitness gadgets – Fitbit, Suunto, Garmin, etc. because everything we do has the potential to be shared publicly regardless of privacy settings. You may remember this hit the news last year.

    Ray, the feature I’d really like to see from manufacturers is a disconnected, desktop option. Kinda like Quickbooks desktop vs cloud. Yes, I’m a Luddite who thinks social media is stupid and vain and perfectly happy to run, ride, and swim all by my self or with my team but seriously, data privacy is becoming more of an issue and deserves some attention. Command doesn’t want any potential for our positions and activity to be revealed. And I sure as heck don’t want the positions and activity of my daughter revealed either whether she’s at the mall or at a doc appointment or at field hockey practice.

    As always I appreciate your reviews and insight. One tip on your lumbar spine; immediately following a massive episode apply ICE, not heat. Get the inflammation under control, add some Flexeril if you wish and hydrate big time. Been there myself, brother. I got $100 that your quads, hip flexors, and QL are tight as a snare drum so follow The Girl’s advice and get loose. Good luck.

    • Aaron

      > monetization of user data often exceeds the sales margin earned on tech over a multi year period

      I would be interested to see your data on this claim, given that the gadget sales from the major vendors are in the 10’s-100’s $billions, and I don’t see any big efforts in data monetization. Sure Strava has done some stuff with public municipalities, and the freemium non-gear platforms like Runkeeper/MapMyStuff/Endomondo that got snatched up by apparel companies use the customer lists for marketing.

      > the feature I’d really like to see from manufacturers is a disconnected, desktop option…. Yes, I’m a Luddite who thinks social media is stupid and vain

      The benefits of cloud technology are related to product development and feature release speed, quality + deployment processes, ease of support + scaling, wider accessibility, data security and reliance. There’s nothing dictating that a cloud software platform has any relation to social media. As a technology vendor, it is frustrating that this myth still persists in 2019. 😕

    • DC Dan

      Aaron, read the TOUs very closely for all of your gear. These are not conspiracy theorems – the monetization of user data by tech vendors ranging from TVs (Samsung), cars (Ford), smarthomes (Amazon), and yes fitness gadgets (Fitbit) is well documented and substantiated. And it’s increasing exponentially in absence of any regulation. It’s also a natural evolution of their business model. Nothing wrong with cloud based, problem is the failure to disclose precisely how much personal data is being captured and how it is used. There’s a reason why even Tim Cook is calling for stricter privacy standards.

      Here’s a good summary…link to wareable.com

      Some additional sources…

      link to theguardian.com

      link to thehealthcareblog.com

      link to techrepublic.com

      link to automotive-fleet.com

      You wrote, “…nothing dictating cloud platform has any relation to social media?” And the monetization of user data is a “myth?” Seriously Aaron? Please tell me you haven’t submitted your DNA to the cloud.

      So, follow along. If you use a mix of biometric markers (voice, face, fingerprints) in any of your tech this means your biometric vectors are out there. Don’t get me started on the vendors used to run speed cameras which scan plates, faces, times, dates. Not disclosing anything classified here but if we want to find someone it’s real easy to just use public FB and Google facial recognition tools. Problem is no one reads the TOUs. If they did they’d realize Amazon is selling voice vector data of your children (so if Susy’s voice shows up at Karen’s house well I guess they must be buddies).

      Don’t misunderstand me, I love tech, my life depends on it. I just don’t trust how my data is going to be used and you shouldn’t either. Read. The. Terms. Of. Use. But I did particularly like FB’s initiative in Australia to combat revenge porn by encouraging female users to submit naked photos! Scary part is all the women and girls who actually submitted photos. That was soooo awesome.

      link to vox.com
      link to dailymail.co.uk

    • DC Dan

      Sorry, the titles of the links didn’t come through so here they are:

      Wearable Tech Terms and Conditions – Privacy Policies

      link to wareable.com

      Some additional sources…

      1 – Fitness Tracking App Gives Away Location of Secret US Army Bases

      link to theguardian.com

      2 – Who Owns Your Fitbit Data – Biometric Data Privacy Problems

      link to thehealthcareblog.com

      3 – The Dark Side of Wearables – How They’re Secretly Jeopardizing Your Security and Privacy

      link to techrepublic.com

      4 – Manufacturers Have Edge in Data Monetization – Ford CEO

      link to automotive-fleet.com

      And my favorite…FB combating revenge porn by asking girls to upload nude photos:

      link to vox.com
      link to dailymail.co.uk

    • Aaron

      Stay on target Red Leader!

      No need to ramble thru TVs, cars, smartphones, regulation, Tim Cook, fingerprints, speed cameras, facial recognition, alexa, DNA, revenge porn and Australia to prove that you’re suspicious of tech. Lets cut to the chase…

      Respectfully, can you give me specific information on what data Garmin, Suunto, Polar and Fitbit are selling, who they are selling them to, and how much of their total revenue comes from sales of fitness data. Not privacy agreements. Not terms of service. Actual data on business lines that are profiting from sales of your fitness data from the half dozen gadget majors. Or… even general data. Anything really, other than your personal lack of trust – which you’re entitled to, but is subjective rather than factual.

      It’s fine to say “they’re allowed to do this, and I don’t trust that they won’t”, but that is a far cry from “the monetization of user data often exceeds the sales margin earned on tech” when talking about fitness gadgets. I just don’t see evidence of it in 2019.

      Please also lets not conflate privacy and anonymization and monetization – separate issues, separate challenges.

    • DC Dan

      TVs and laptops are illustrative as Samsung was caught, after consistent denials, of recording viewer conversations and sharing that data with marketing partners. Lenovo embedded Superfish in consumer laptops which they similarly denied until they were caught. FB, Amazon, Google, etc. have all had similar embarrassments.

      Point is, aside from Ford execs bragging at an industry show about knowing exactly where customers are 24/7 due to passenger facing cameras and GPS, companies are unlikely to volunteer with whom they share your data and their revenue model – revenue share? outright sale? fully anonymized? These are the questions I would like Ray to pursue as part of due diligence when reviewing products and services.

      Another recent study (Dec 2018) by MIT on privacy risks of even anonymized user data revealing personally identifiable data provides further insight so “non-personally identifiable user data” is meaningless because as long as I have a device identifier I don’t need your name. That’s why everyone needs to “install the app!!” Seriously, with an IMEI anyone can track you.

      link to news.mit.edu

      Regarding the value of personal data, here’s a nice ‘splainer on the matter from TechCrunch and Investopedia valuing personal data:

      link to techcrunch.com
      link to investopedia.com

      In 2015 Comcast paid $100 each to 75,000 users for publishing their data which these users actually paid to keep private. FB has had some big takeovers with valuations around $30-$40 per user. Even basic demographic data which might sell for $.20 for a targeted ad campaign can throw off some big money if its in the millions of users (e.g. active, male, 30-45, single).

      Without getting too far into the weeds, general consensus is value of your personal data (meaning demos plus behavioral & geo) can range from $15 – $40 which is about the net margin for a lot of wearable gizmos. Of course Garmin made more than that on my Fenix I’m sure. The real money is in services and data.

      I don’t care if I get spammed from Clever Training (I like them) or get offers for veterans credit cards. My concern is whether my teenage daughter’s daily routine is now in the wild because she’s wearing a gadget. I don’t know the answer but I’m not risking it.

      Our opinions differ. I’m a trust but verify kinda guy. So you might swear your dog doesn’t bite but I’ll ask you to keep it leashed while my kids are in the yard. But go ahead, share all your personal data, DNA, kid’s birthdays, medical conditions, lifestyle, photos, etc. if you are 100% confident the data will never be shared.

    • Aaron

      So, to recap, you have no actual facts about major fitness gear vendors making more money selling your personal data than they do from tech.

      Gotcha.

      Meanwhile, I googled the financial reports from Fitbit on a lark and learned that 99% of their revenue comes from hardware sales, around 1% from premium software services to customers (not partners), and approximately 0% from personal data monetization.

  60. Dimitri Kiselkov

    “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail” -Winston Churchill

    don’t fail us Suunto…

  61. Joe S.

    I’ve had my Ambit3 Peak for almost a year & love it, but without custom sport modes & route loading when using the new Suunto app, it seems there is now a clear shelf life on the usefulness of the watch.

    I was hoping to get a few more years out of it, but now it looks like I’ll get another year at most. Can’t believe they are still selling the watch in their website. They need to get their act together & streamline their software, it’s beyond confusing.

    The Suunto 9 Baro looks fantastic but I now have my doubts about Suunto looking after their customer base.

    Is anyone contemplating jumping ship & getting a COROS Apex? Reading a lot of good buzz about it & it’s certainly a cheaper alternative.

    • MG

      Wow, I had never even heard of the COROS Apex before this post. It looks amazing!! I will likely ride my Ambit3s until I can’t change sport mode on them anymore, but this thing really looks promising…..

    • steven

      The coros only has a mobile app. For the rest it looks promising.

    • I think it’s easy to want to jump ship anytime a company upsets the apple cart.

      But I think when looking to jump ship, you generally want to ensure that the ship you’re jumping to is a better ship and not just better, but also sailing in a better direction.

      I don’t believe you’d find *anybody* who says that any of the current COROS watches or app platforms represents a better ship than Suunto, no matter which Suunto platform one is looking at. If looking at the Suunto Movescount platform, that’d be like going from a cruise ship to a row boat.

      If looking at the Suunto Sport Tracker platform, that’d be like going from a luxury yacht to the same row boat. No matter which sport function on the apps you compare, I can’t think of anything that COROS does better here (well, I suppose if you prefer ANT+ over BLE sensors, but given one adopted Suunto one would have somewhat known that boat already).

      And while comparing the devices themselves, they aren’t in the same leauge from a features/functions/anything.

      Don’t get me wrong – the Suunto situation is frustrating. And maybe I’m in a unique spot knowing all the watches fairly easily to spot which boats are of which types. But I think in general when making jump-ship threats, one wants to focus on viable ships to jump to. Otherwise brands won’t take it seriously. They need to know why specifically one is jumping ship and why the new ship is better.

      Just my two cents…

    • MG

      Yeah, I guess the difference here is that I’m not jumping ship, Suunto is sinking mine while I am on it. I’d be willing to take a risk with another ship (such as COROS) because I have such a bad taste in my mouth from the Suunto move. I only recently invested a lot of money in two Suunto watches and still can’t believe they haven’t sent out any other communication on this matter.

      I for one can’t afford to spend $600 on their new flagship because they decided to stop supporting the perfectly good watch that I have, even if I do agree in the direction that their “ship” is sailing.

      If Coros doesn’t pan out and Suunto still doesn’t fully support my Ambit3 then I’ll go Garmin.

  62. Nathan

    So what’s the relationship between Suunto and Nokia?

    In 2016 Nokia acquired Withings, and immediately ditched the Withings app for a new one with fewer features…

    …which happens to look strikingly similar to Suunto’s new app, which they introduced a couple of years after Amer bought Sports Tracker…

    …which used to be owned by Nokia.

    Are Suunto outsourcing their app platform development to Nokia, or to a third party that also supplies Nokia?

    • No relationship.

      The current app is made by Suunto, and originated from the Sport Tracker side.

    • Nathan

      Yes, it’s old Nokia tech – Nokia built Sports Tracker for their Symbian phones, then when they shuttered the service in 2010 it was carried on as a separate company by former Nokia employees.

      Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that they chose very similar-looking UI toolkits for their recent apps.

    • I’m not exactly sure one can say it’s still Nokia when it’s 9 years removed.

    • PGrey

      I was reading though this (trying to figure out if I’m going to sell my 2 A3S’s – perfectly functioning, and move on, or…). The insight about the other “ships” being not so great in some ways (better UI, but less data, and FAR less battery life, overall) is pretty handy, and making any sort of decision tricky.
      Anyway I had to respond to this comment. I worked on the Win OS, off/on for quite a few years. I can assure you, there was code that went back at least those 9 years. Sure, some stuff had been fully re-written (full stack changes and such), but a lot of it was just “brought along”, and tweaked, accordingly.
      Obviously that’s a singular company, but you can see the parallel; I highly doubt that they had the motivation/money/insight to just scrap the old code-base here, fully, it just doesn’t happen, industry-wide, IME.

    • pgrey

      Sorry (I tried to edit, but I’m not seeing the link, or in HTM), forgot to mention that I’m a pretty long-time Suunto user, too, back past my A2S, an S6, and a Vector, from around 1998 or so (prior to this I had the hold Avocet wrist altimeter, which was pretty handy for scrambling/climbing/backpacking, in the early-mid-90’s).
      So I don’t take “departure” lightly, regardless of the lack of good places to jump to.
      I’m with the crowd that just wants them to maintain the existing interface, and let the watches “age out”, over time (>A3 family can just move to the app, where they’re full-featured).
      That lets me keep using the MovesCount site too, which is FAR superior to Sports-Tracker, at least in the current ST incantation.

  63. Chris

    Greetings,

    I am also a happy Ambit 2 owner. I always thought that I would upgrade to a Spartan or a 9 when the time came but these news from Suunto really have me thinking twice.

    I am sorry, I really like Suunto watches but if they ‘disable’ the older watches they will surely lose happy customers that choose Suunto for the quality and reliability.

    I know 2020 is next year but even if I wanted to get a new Suunto right now I would most likely have to sell the Ambit 2 to partially fund the new watch. Now you cannot sell a watch that is possible to be useless in a year! No one would want it and I personally would not sell it to someone unaware of these news.

    So I think the minimum Suunto should do is at least provide all the basic functionality for the non Bluetooth watches. I know that you need Bluetooth for Suunto App but from what I read online, Sports Tracker is the desktop/browser version of Suunto App.

    They should/could modify moveslink/suuntolink so that Ambits can sync online with Sports Tracker / Suunto App and then add options within Sports Tracker for watch customization (device settings actually) which will then be synced back. Also sync and add missing features to Sports Tracker (POIs etc)

    That way everyone would be happy to be a Suunto customer, feel looked after and surely buy their new watch from Suunto again. I know I would.

    Please don’t fail us as already said above.

    Regards,
    Chris.

    • Chris

      I’m heading over to Suunto forums and support emails/forms. Let’s hope they’ll respect the so far happy customers (who are the best advertisement in my opinion)

      Chris.

  64. RuNan

    Been with Suunto for 8 years, but if they end support for my trusty Ambit 2, I’ll drop them like a hot potato. I use a Spartan Wrist HR as well, but need my Ant+ Ambit to connect to my smart trainer, because once the laptop has hogged the bluetooth connection, the bluetooth only Spartan can’t find it.

    And Suunto online sucks. Where’s all the power data (running and cycling) that I spend hours each week sweating over??

    • Paul D

      Hey @RuNan,

      Check out North Pole Engineering’s CABLE – it’s an ANT+ -> BLE bridge. I use one to allow two BLE watches to connect to my Stryd at the same time.

    • RuNan

      Thanks Paul D. Got one of these eventually and it works perfectly. First tried the Viiiva HR monitor that does the same thing, but couldn’t get that to work

  65. Trygve V

    Do people here know of the Gaia GPS app? I sent a feedback message to Suunto that including a feature for making POIs and routes would be very helpful for people using the watch for navigation. The map they use in sports tracker is already OK (would rather have the local topo map though) as basis for making POIs/routes.

    I think the most frustrating part of the new app is that it thinks all my activities start at 0masl so it gets ascended Vertical meters wrong.

  66. Peter Williams

    Quick question on training programs – personally I found one of the best features of Movescount was the ability to create my own program and import it to my Spartan Trainer Wrist HR. All my workouts would then appear on the day I had set to do them, and off I went. Where is this feature in the Suunto App?? If nowhere, are there any other software platforms that I could use for this purpose?

  67. David M. Barish

    I used Ambit 2S in the past but got a Spartan Wrist HR last year. I lead rides for my bike club and have created routes in Movescount. Where can I find a pony explaining what I need to do to migrate them and where they are migrating? In the past few months I have not bothered with Movescount and have let the Suunto app on my smartphone collect my info. I am leading a ride this week and want to create a route. it seems like a waste to do so on Movescount. Do I create on Strava or Ride with GPS? If so, how do I get the data to the watch? Thanks.

    • pgrey

      David, I use mine for the same (ride leads) at times, it’s quite handy, since I don’t ride with a full GPS setup (I’m kind of old school in the regard, despite being a s/w-h/w boundary engineer/design person), at least my A3S can get me “back on track”, if things go awry, so I don’t look too lost to the group I’m leading ;-]

      Anyway, I’m responding to your comment mostly to let you know that you’re good, for now, nothing is scheduled to change until summer 2020, they seem pretty firm on that (that that’s the earliest they’ll be shuttering things).
      So, for now, I’m just going to be using MovesCount, and plan on doing a big data export (you can request this, usually takes about a day) sometime before mid-2020 (depending on if/when I leave or not).

  68. lhpopov

    Well as a Suunto Ambit 2 (that was recently replaced) user, this sounds very strange as the warranty is 2 years ahead, and I was convinced by the support that they will be still actively selling that watch for a few years in the future.
    One workaround would be, to let their mobile app support ANT+ as a lot of smartphones have it built-in.
    Other to open their API for external developers, so that one could make something better.
    But still we’ll loose one of the nicest features, to plan a route/POI on a nice convenient desktop site.

    Overall I feel betrayed by a company, for which I have given so many positive reviews online and offline to my friends, who did buy a handful of Ambit and Spartan models.
    So thanks but I am selling my Suunto Ambit 2 Sapphire watch, which was by far a remarkable piece of hardware, in order not to have a unusable watch in less than 2 years. With that move I have no choice left but to go with a Garmin, something I was refusing the last years, but now am actively taking that option.
    That was my last Suunto product, so thank you Suunto, movescount.

    • pgrey

      Yeah, I had my A2S battery replaced about a year back, too, so I’m *just* going to make it to that 2 year mark, more or less.
      Last summer though, I purchased a 2nd used A3S (for cycling, backpacking, climbing and more; my first A3S was my ski watch, just lived in my ski bag so I didn’t forget it), and I’m thinking I’ll sell my A2S with a pretty new battery, sometime soon (of course with FULL disclosure about the “sync situation”), the A3S is just SO much handier, I can do at least a week of 2-4 hour rides, without recharging.
      When bike touring, I set it to minimum GPS recording, and I can easily tour for a week before I need to recharge, sometimes I’ve gotten almost a full 2 week tour in, on the single charge.

    • RuNan

      Not sure if you guys have heard of the Ambit Connect app on the google play store. You use your normal Suunto charging cable and a cheap USB to phone adapter. It downloads your activities and you can export them as GPX or FIT files. It can also auto sync with your Stava account. Works a treat with my Ambit 2S and there are several comments about it also working perfectly with the Ambit 3.

    • Yes, I love Ambit Connect. I use it when I want to upload long races and am on a sketchy mobile data connection. 🙂

      I would be happy to keep using Ambit Connect, I guess my main need now would be to be able to update sport modes on my watch once movescount is completely phased out.

    • Pete Grey

      Is it somehow possible to change sports, or athlete characteristics (weight, age, HR zones, etc), with any 3rd party tools, such as this?
      I’ve not had any success, confirming this, one way or the other (since it sure looks like the SA will NOT support this for Ambit3 devices).

  69. Doug Moreira

    My wife is a long time Garmin user. Once she got me into running (I used to do mostly hiking), I decided to buy a watch to match the new needs.
    After a lot of research, I opted for Suunto.
    Boy, do I regret!
    Not the watch per se, but seeing her flying by with all the serious info and cool stuff the Garmin app and site provides was a bit frustrating, compared to Movescount. And now Suunto is making it worse.
    I have no option here: once my watch is dead, Garmin will have a new customer and Suunto one less.
    p.s.: The watch’s death my not be distant, since the actual’s wristband broke (while not in use), during warranty period, and it’s been more than three months and I still haven’t got it back from Suunto.

    • Matt H

      Depending on the watch type wristband, replacements can be bought on Amazon relatively inexpensively (I’m on my third Ambit 3 wristband now). Of note, I did need to get a special screwdriver to get it attached but it was super cheap.

  70. I have a Suunto 9 and I enjoy using it very much, alas, prior to the Suunto 9 I was still using my Garmin 310XT. Two days ago I again received the email from Suunto regarding switching from Movescount to Suunto app so I did so. My last few runs haven’t synced to Strava since switching. With Movescount I would walk into the house and my run would immediately load. I am finding I have to plug into my computer in order to sync to Strava. Is this the procedure for everyone?

  71. Alan Tri

    Hi Ray, could you please help out with some disambiguation here? I’m on my 7th Suunto (t4, t6, Ambit, Ambit 2, Ambit 3, Spartan Trainer and now Spartan Sport HR baro) and been through a couple of their connectivity iterations (movestick? then moveslink, moveslink2 and now movescount), can you help to separate the connectivity and app from the web platform. I get that “kills off … their app platform” refers to the Ambit in-watch apps but this article is about 2 phone apps, 2 PC/MAC apps and 2 web platforms, right:
    – Movescount mobile app
    – Suunto mobile app
    – Moveslink2
    – SuuntoLink
    – Movescount.com
    – Suunto / sportstracker.com
    Are these “paired” or can you mix and match until something gets switched off, and is that “something” the web platform, the PC/MAC app and/or the mobile app?

    HELP. Maybe I’m being lazy by asking rather than checking it out myself but I do not want to install some new stuff and register for the new web platform and find out that I’ve irreversibly lost something.

    Thank you
    Alan Tri

    • Yeah, it’s confusing as all heck. But roughly, there’s two basic train tracks. The ones that connect to the ‘old’ Movescount platform, and then the ones that connect to the new ‘Suunto’ (aka SportsTracker’) platform.

      Movescount platform:
      – Moveslink2
      – Movescount mobile app

      Suuunto/Sports Tracker platform:
      – SuuntoLink
      – Suunto mobile app

      In some cases for certain watches you can pair it to both sides of the house.

  72. Chris

    I just got this mail from Suunto:

    “Dear Suunto Community,

    We are happy to share the latest news on our digital service transition. This is the third update of 2019, here you can find the details of our January and April update.

    This update is focused on our long-standing community members currently connecting their Ambit and Ambit2 to Suunto movescount.com. We want to share that we will have a solution to connect to Suunto app in the future. While we are still working on many details and the timing, we wanted to let you know our plans, and that you have our commitment that you will be able continue to enjoy your trusted Ambits with this understanding. We will update with details in the coming months.

    -Your Suunto Team”

    It seems they respect the loyal customers after all !

  73. Charles Colbourn

    One thing suunto could do to annoy some of us a bit less is to have realistic permissions on their phone apps. No, Suunto App *doesn’t* need location permissions to scan for bluetooth devices. Nor does it need a whole load of other things it demands at installation. Nor should it need the phone gps to be on to sync moves.

    More than anything else though, what it needs to do is sync watches successfully and reliably, and unless you happen to have one of the rather short list of phones known to work it doesn’t do that. I bought my Ambit3 on the basis that, although I don’t have a windows PC I can sync with my phone. Yeah, dream on.

    For my part I’ll be doing my best to drag out the useful life of my Ambit3 with openambit, until such time as I can afford to replace it with another manufacturers product.

  74. Maisie

    I am really unimpressed with Suunto. Buying an Ambit3 Peak, was a really huge expenditure for me. One that I took a long time to make the jump to, I took a long time deciding, but I wanted a watch with a 20 hour battery life and the ability to use in the pool was a nice bonus. I’ve never succeeded in making their mobile app work, but it didn’t matter as I connected to the laptop via a cable. Now with the phasing out of Movescount. I’ve tried again, with my new phone. The watch pairs with the phone, but it won’t sync. Followed the recommendations, installed and uninstalled various times. I have no reply for customer service. I like the watch, so I’ve recommended Suunto to people. For a whole host of reasons, I need to access my stats and have a record of my routes. And if I’m paying that much for a watch I expect to not have to record my stats manually! I’m on a couple of running groups and organise runs, so people do ask me my recommendations for watches. I am absolutely not going to recommend them.

  75. Pierre

    I have used a Suunto D9 over the years and logged over 200 dives with it, or its replacement after the D9 broke, the D9tx. All these dives were synced with MoveScout, but once I had the new D9tx, my dives disappeared on MoveScout. Yet I can download all 200 as “.fit” files. Which I CANNOT import into the DM 5 application for Mac. Support tells me it cannot be done. Moreover, I now cannot see my 203 dives on MoveScout! And of course they are still on the Suunto server, as I have downloaded them…

    Anyone feeling the same pain?

  76. jgure

    Great article and great comments. Thanks to all.

    What I really will be missing is the possibility to do the planning of structured workouts and then transfer them to my Ambit 3 Peak. This possibility was one of the reasons why I got the Ambit 3 Peak some years ago!

    I want to participate in making some noise to Suunto in relation to get the planning of structured workouts within the new Suunto-App.

    Jgure

    PS: Does any body know other brands of gears with the possibility to plan structured workouts? Just in case Suunto definivly will not include this feature into the new SuuntoApp. Many thanks Jgure

  77. H.H. Wannet

    Well explained and well-analysed issue. And written in a very readable style

  78. Matthias

    Hi,

    I am using a Edge 520 to record my bike rides. Is there any possibility to Import those activities simultanious to the Suunto App Software? I own a Spartan Trainer, and mostly I like the new app, but it would be great to Import activities.

    For movescount, I used Fitnesssyncer, but appearantly this doesn’t work for Sunnto App anymore.

    Thanks, Matthias

  79. Bob Coleman

    Just checking in on this thread. My Ambit 2 is charging, but not connecting via Moveslink. Is that the state of play now? On a MacBookPro.

  80. John

    I wanted to post an update on this for anyone interested. I have an Ambit 3 which I love, but am also really unhappy about losing Routes. I’m still hanging on to Movescount for now.

    I use route navigation during mountain biking so that I can see if I’m off trail – I ride in an area that has lots of trail options and not having to pull out my phone and use All Trails, Gaia, etc. just to confirm I’m on the right track is really nice.

    I was having some issues with the route planner app so called Suunto support – they told me that they are actually going to support Routes WITH the Ambit 3 on the new software. It’s kind of working today the support guy told me – you can load them in but you can’t see the line on the watch yet which they are fixing.

    So maybe they are listening. Not sure about sport or workout customizations that others are missing also.

  81. Jan

    Thanks for the good article! With that I would like to cry out load towards Suunto: I´m still using my Quest with all the sensors there are… foot pod, heartrate monitor, bike pod, GPS pod. I´m quite happy with this setup if I ignore the battery consumption for a second. I would hate to lose this just because Movescount goes away.

    Best regards

    Jan

  82. Mystified

    If anyone working for Suunto reads these comments, PLEASE keep the ambit3 and its GPS routes/waypoints import functions supported in the new Suunto app or keep Movescount functional! People are still buying Ambit3s and they are useless paperweights for their main purpose without that function! Thank you.

  83. David Smith

    I have created apps on my Ambit 2 for swimming and some of those apps are used by others. IF I can’t create new apps for the way I exercise, I’m a little frustrated, maybe time to just jump ship to Apple. I created an app called Swimmy that counts miles swam (don’t like to track yards/meters, seems pointless when you’re swimming for over 30 minutes). Will they support my Swimmy app?

    • Pete

      No, there’s basically zero support for the old-app-model, at least the last time I looked, that’s where they were headed…